Monday, 12 February 2018
LAWRENCE BLOCK - KELLER THE DOGKILLER (2011)
From the beginning, dogs have played a role in Keller's story. The very first Keller episode, ANSWERS TO SOLDIER, sent Keller to Roseburg, Oregon, in pursuit of a man hiding out in the Witness Protection Program. (The man runs a Quik-Print franchise, and Keller scouts out the situation by placing an order for handbills seeking a lost dog. It's the dog he had as a child..) The story ran in Playboy, picked up an Edgar nomination, and a few years down the line the author realized he had more to say about Keller. In the resulting tale, KELLER'S THERAPY, our favorite hit man is pressured by his psychotherapist in a tale that involves an Australian cattle dog—a dog who winds up in Keller's possession, as it turns out. And that dog, the endearing Nelson, becomes an increasingly important part of Keller's life until his dogwalker walks off with him.
These things happen.
And now here's Keller, hired to kill a dog. And to do so not halfway across the country, but in his home town of Manhattan.
KELLER THE DOGKILLER was published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, anthologized in DARK CITY LIGHTS, and scooped up into HIT PARADE, the third episodic Keller novel. In includes as a bonus the opening portion of KELLER IN DES MOINES.
Keller breaks one of his golden rules - never work in your home town, but it's not so bad because his contract is to take out a dog. As ever things get slightly more complicated and before the end there's a decent body count and the canine that caused it is still breathing. How the hell did that all happen?
An ever dependable pro - Keller completes the contract, just when you fear he's turning all soft and sentimental.
I'm exhausting my list of superlatives to describe Lawrence Block's work. Suffice to say, I'm a big fan.
4.5 from 5
Read in January, 2018
Published - 2011
Page count - 35
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle